Sometimes, the only thing holding someone back from testing the home buying market is lack of experience. For those potential buyers, the knowledgeable loan officers at First Mortgage Direct are standing by with helpful tips for buying a house! Our team will help you with the first steps to a better future.
FMD’s top tips for buying a house
If you’ve never bought a house or are wading back into the home buying market for the first time in a while, our team can help! These helpful tips and tricks will keep you confident and on track throughout the entire process.
When initially mulling over entering the home buying market, you should start the pre-approval process by reaching out to a qualified home loan officer. It doesn’t matter if you have a relaxed or highly competitive buying market. A pre-approval is a great tool that can put you ahead of the competition. Some selling agents won’t even accept a showing if the prospective buyers aren’t pre-approved!
Pre-approvals last for 90 days, so you don’t have to feel rushed when looking for the perfect home or shopping for the best loans. A pre-approval also gives you a whole picture of your purchasing power. There’s nothing worse than falling in love with a home that you ultimately can’t afford!
A pre-approval from the trusted online mortgage lenders at First Mortgage Direct can set your home offer apart. Sellers and real estate agents can rest assured that you have an offer backed by a team of professional loan officers with a proven track record.
Our in-house underwriting team allows us to expedite your pre-approval through the underwriter’s desk. If we’ve done the heavy lifting up-front with pre-approval, we will need only a few documents to transition from pre-approval to closing.
Build a reliable team
The nature of homebuying lends itself to night and weekend work. People typically list houses close to the weekend, and weeknights and weekends are typically the most popular times for house showings.
Because of those atypical hours, it’s important to find realtors and loan officers willing to work outside the typical 8-5. Our expert loan officers are available at any time, whenever our clients need us most. We like to be involved with the housing search and prefer a team approach to home buying. We like to communicate with your realtor, so everyone is on the same page.
Find a realtor you trust
It’s crucial to have the right support when starting the home buying process. A qualified and trustworthy realtor is a key member of your home buying team. You might not be an expert on finding the best neighborhoods to search in or the latest housing market trends, but your realtor should be!
Your realtor is your eyes and ears on the ground, finding the right situation to meet your unique needs. They know the area, the right contractors to get jobs done, and they can help guide you toward the right investment.
Even for people with experience buying and selling a home, it’s valuable to find a trusted realtor to represent you. An agent can get your foot in the door in a competitive market through networking with other realtors. As the old saying goes, sometimes it’s not what you know, but who you know.
Communication is key
No matter the market, being on the same page with your home buying team is one of our most important tips for buying a home. That’s why we like to be involved with the process from start to finish.
When you’ve found a realtor, give them your loan officer’s number so the two can coordinate plans together. If your loan officer is aware of the steps you’re taking, they can prepare to support you when it’s time to place an offer. Our communication with the real estate agents also helps put your offer ahead of competitors.
By nature, real estate agents are inquisitive. If you come to a showing with a pre-approval and the selling agent doesn’t know your lender, that could hinder a potential offer. With our emphasis on communication, agents get a better understanding of who we are and how we operate. This helps bridge the gap between both parties and puts your offer on solid ground.
Communicate with your partner
If you’re searching for a home with a partner, it’s just as important, if not more important, to be on the same page with them as your home buying team. It’s natural for one person to act as the spokesman, handling most of the communication during the process. However, we like to establish communication with all members of the buying party early on.
Everyone brings a different perspective to homebuying, and everyone’s tastes are different. FMD’s experienced loan officers like to get a feel for everyone involved in the buying process, and we encourage you to listen to each other. That way, we can ensure everyone’s satisfaction with the home buying choices we make.
It’s just as important to discuss these decisions away from everyone else as well. Ultimately, these decisions affect your finances and your future, so figuring out exactly what you want–and don’t want–is key to making the right decisions.
Do your own research
When you’re ready to jump feet first into the housing market, don’t just settle for the first options presented. It’s always best to have multiple options, both in the choice of your new home and in your mortgage lender.
Keep in mind that housing prices and mortgage rates aren’t the only factors to consider when shopping around. Some online mortgage lenders will fit your loan into a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all mortgage.
At First Mortgage Direct, our seasoned loan officers match you with the right loan, not just the best rate. We focus solely on building relationships with our clients. Our team sacrifices short-term profits for long-term satisfaction that has clients returning to work with us years down the road.
Take your time
In fast-paced housing markets, everything can seem like a blur. When houses are selling within days of listing, you might feel rushed to make a decision before an opportunity slips through your fingers.
One of our top tips for buying a home is to not rush into anything, even in highly-competitive markets. If we’ve done our job and equipped you with a pre-approval, then you should have a strong knowledge of what you can afford. This should ensure that you’re ready to submit an offer at any time.
Remember, your pre-approval lasts for 90 days. That gives you all the time you need to shop around for houses and find the right mortgage rates for your situation.
See the house for yourself
This seems like common sense for some people, but it’s important to actually get out and view some houses. With websites like Zillow, you can get a good look at price points of certain houses and an idea of what you can afford. However, those websites rarely give you the full picture.
When you go for a home showing, you get the full experience of the home. People can manipulate photos online with lighting and angles, but there’s no hiding anything when visiting the home in person. You can get a feel for the space, visualize what living there would be like, and even scope out the neighborhood and surrounding area.
Buying a home is often the biggest financial decision of your life. With that in mind, it’s important to actually see the home in person before submitting an offer.
Bring the human element
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the home buying process and forget that the seller is another person, just like you. Remembering the human element is a big tip for buying a home, because it can give you a leg up when submitting an offer.
The person on the other end is likely under as much pressure to sell the home as you are to buy. They are being pushed by selling agents and could possibly have a deadline to sell if they are moving to another home or town.
That’s why we encourage you to submit a letter along with your offer. Explain your situation, let them know who you are and why you want the house. That little extra step can put your offer ahead of the pack, even if it’s not the biggest offer they receive.
Keep in mind the “hidden” costs
When you’re out searching for houses and considering what to offer, it’s crucial to consider any extra costs that might arise. Some of these “hidden” costs include:
- Closing costs
- Property taxes
- Utility set up
- Pest control
- Lawn care
- New furnishings
- And more
All of these “hidden” costs can take a toll on your finances, particularly for first-time home buyers.
Get all of the best tips for buying a home from FMD
Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions of your life. It’s important to have the right team to support you throughout the process.
Our experienced mortgage professionals at First Mortgage Direct are passionate about helping our clients with their first steps toward a better future.
Unlike other online mortgage lenders, our loan officers won’t try to fit you into a loan that’s not right for your situation. We are seasoned professionals in this industry with the experience to fit each client with a tailored loan solution. The end result leaves them satisfied with their purchase and confident in their decisions.
Contact us today to see how our honesty, integrity, and experience helps with finding you the right home loans.
A special thank you to our Loan Officer, David Vaughan, for providing his expertise on this topic.